Official, The Most Popular,
And The Most Economical
Scrum Certifications
starting USD 49.-

Register Now    Free Training

How To Estimate Effort For Stories In The Scrum Framework? This Might Surprise You!

All user stories within the Scrum Product Backlog have to be estimated to allow the Scrum Product Owner to prioritize them and plan releases. That means the Scrum Product Owner needs a reliable assessment of how much the delivery of each user story will take.

Nevertheless, it is recommended that the Scrum Product Owner does not interfere with the estimations that the Scrum Team performs. So the Scrum Team delivers its estimates without feeling any pressure from the Scrum Product Owner.

The Scrum Framework itself does not prescribe a way for the Scrum Teams to estimate their work. The teams who rely on the Scrum Framework do not deliver their estimates of user stories based on time or person-day units. Instead, they provide their estimates by using more abstract metrics to compare and qualify the effort required to deliver the user stories.

Common estimation methods include:

  • Numeric sizing (1 through 10),
  • T-shirt sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL), or
  • the Fibonacci sequence (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc)

How To Estimate Effort For Stories In The Scrum Framework? This Might Surprise You!

An Example User story

The Scrum Team members must share a common understanding and consensus of the unit of estimations they use so that every member of the team feels and acts comfortable with it.

Planning Poker® / Scrum Poker

One commonly used method for the estimation process is to play Planning Poker® (also called Scrum Poker).

When using Planning Poker®, the social proof influence among the Scrum Team members are minimal. Therefore, the Scrum Team produces more accurate estimation results.

What you need to play Planning Poker® game is straightforward:

  • The list of features to be estimated
  • Decks of numbered cards.

A typical deck has cards showing the Fibonacci sequence, including a zero: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89. Other similar progressions are also possible. The reason for using the Fibonacci sequence is to reflect the uncertainty in estimating larger items. It would be a waste of time to discuss if a user story should have a size of 19, 20 or 21. And yet, it's relatively easier to decide if the user story fits better to the size 13 or 21.

A high estimate could mean that the Scrum Team members have not very well understood the user story yet. So they can attempt to secure extra capacity for contingency before their commitment to this user story. Alternatively, that could also mean that the user story should be broken down into multiple smaller user stories. Scrum teams can usually estimate smaller and clearer user stories with higher confidence.

Finally, the Scrum Team plays Planning Poker® by adhering the following steps:

  • The Scrum Product Owner presents the story to be estimated. The Scrum Team asks questions, and the Scrum Product Owner articulates the user story in more detail. If the Scrum Team has to assess many user stories, estimates can be time-boxed in a way that the Scrum Team does not spend more than a few minutes for each user story. If the team cannot still estimate a user story in a given time-box, then this could be a signal to which the Scrum Product Owner needs to pay attention. This signal indicates that either the end-user requirement or the user story or both of them are not clear enough, so they need to be rewritten.
  • Each member of the Scrum Team privately chooses the card representing the estimation.
  • After everyone has selected a card, all selections are revealed.
  • People with high and low estimates are asked to explain their assessment because they may have thought something that the majority of the Scrum Team members have been unable to see.
  • Another estimation is done for this particular user story until the team reaches a consensus for an estimate.
  • The Scrum Team repeats the game until they estimate all user stories.

Planning Poker® is a registered trademark of Mountain Goat Software, LLC.



Share It With Your Colleagues and Friends to Help Them Learn:
How To Estimate Effort For Stories In The Scrum Framework? This Might Surprise You!




Do you want
a better career?

Hey, I'm Yeliz Obergfell. I'm determined to make a career grow. My only question is, will it be yours?

Yes! I Want A Better Career!




About Yeliz Obergfell

Hi there! It is great to meet you today. My name is Yeliz Obergfell. I am the Vice President, Student Experience here at International Scrum Institute™. It is my duty and pleasure to make sure that we serve you as best as we can on your continuous Scrum learning and execution journey.

Every single day I receive success stories from our students who found new jobs or secured promotions. Why don’t you become one of these successful individuals who drive real value to their employers and clients? We want you to become one of them, and we want you to succeed!

Do you want to join 1M+ Professionals in Scrum Institute™ community? Are you now fully committed to read and learn the Scrum framework?

Yes! I Want To Learn Scrum!



Just a few Success Stories
from Our Students








Your Scrum Training
Table of Contents


The Scrum Framework - 3rd Edition

The Scrum Framework - 2nd Edition

We guarantee that Your Free Online Training will make you pass Your Scrum Certification Exam!




The Scrum Framework 3rd Edition Is Now Ready.
Get Special Bonuses (Last Day Today!)
Click The Cover For Free Download...


What is The Scrum Framework, 3rd Edition?

  • The Scrum Framework is NOT just another "Scrum" training material.
  • It is NOT another book that repeats the dry Scrum theory. However, it will help you get a lot better understanding of the practical use of the Scrum theory. (Even if you are not or minimally experienced in Scrum right now.)
  • It is NOT a book about how to raise your salary with Scrum's help. However, it will give you the know-how and negotiation power of game-changers, which will help you radically increase your position and income.
  • It is NOT a book about career advice. However, thanks to The Scrum Framework, you will become a lot more successful in your job interviews. That means you will grasp exciting career chances like it has worked out for hundreds of thousands of students like you so far.

The Scrum Framework is a colorful, lively, and smart shortcut to help you deliver great results with Scrum (really fast and without hassle), so you can fuel the life and career you want.


How can you access The Scrum Framework, 3rd Edition, and get started learning Scrum today?

Although The Scrum Framework is the copyrighted intellectual property of the International Scrum Institute™, we wanted to make it freely accessible. We believe that only by sharing experience and know-how we've collected over the years, we can best serve Scrum professionals and the further development of the Scrum domain.

Your Scrum certification examination comprises multiple-choice test questions. Reading The Scrum Framework will help Scrum professionals like you to acquire the know-how to pass your Scrum certification examination and get your Scrum certification.

We GUARANTEE that The Scrum Framework will make you pass your Scrum certification exam!


    Send Me My Free Scrum Book!    



© 2011 - 2020 International Scrum Institute™
All rights reserved.